Semi versus full chisel
Author: Jono & Johno Date Posted: 28 October 2015
The most common question novice chainsaw users ask us at Jono & Johno is, ‘What’s the difference between full and semi chisel chain.’
Full chisel chain has square-cornered teeth which creates a fast, aggressive cut. However when used in hard, dry or dirty woods it can degenerate quickly. It is often preferred when cutting cleaner, green timber such as live pine or ash trees.
Semi chisel chain has teeth with rounded corners formed by a radius between the top and side plates. It won’t cut as fast as full chisel chain but it will stay sharper for longer. It is for this reason that the vast majority of wood cutters prefer semi chisel chain, particularly when cutting Australian hard woods.
There are of course variations to the semi and full chisel formats, as well as methods of successfully using full chisel chain in hard woods. We will cover this in more detail in a future blog.
But for now, your rule of thumb is semi chisel for hard, dry or dirty wood and full chisel for green or soft wood.